News at ABAG


Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Smart Phone Audio Tour Showcases Accessible San Francisco Bay Trail
The San Francisco Bay Trail Project launched an innovative free smart phone audio tour app to guide trail enthusiasts along segments of the Bay Trail. "The Bay Trail on Tour enables people of all ages to get out on the Bay Trail and hear stories about amazing places right in our backyard," stated Laura Thompson, project manager for the San Francisco Bay Trail. The Bay Trail on Tour melds together three aspects of what makes the Bay Area unique: innovative technology, awe-inspiring Bay views, and an active lifestyle.

The tours are rich in scenic and unique Bay Area destinations, spanning 37.5 miles of Bay Trail, with 12 options to choose from including wetlands in Novato, Sears Point in Sonoma County, Alviso in San Jose, and Bair Island in Redwood City. The App features hikes ranging from two miles to five miles, with the narrated tours lasting from one to three hours.

"The Bay Trail on Tour is the Bay Area at its best," said Doug McConnell, host of OpenRoad on NBC Bay Area and narrator of the audio tours throughout the region. "Whether you live in the Bay Area, or you're just visiting, with your smart phone and good walking shoes you can get to know this place while spending time outside."

To participate, people can download the free Vizzit Places app (available in iOs and Android), then walk and listen to at least five of the twelve audio tours hosted by Bay Area TV personality Doug McConnell. A limited-edition Bay Trail on Tour t-shirt will be available to the first 100 people to listen to five tours until Labor Day 2017.

Eleven audio tours were funded by the California Coastal Conservancy, a state agency that aims to protect and restore the California coast and connect people to the coast's natural resources. The Shoreline at Mountain View tour was made possible through a sponsorship from Google's Real Estate & Workplace Services organization. Vizzit Places worked closely with local historians, shoreline managers, and scientists to develop the tours.

The details and locations of the Bay Trail on Tour can be found at baytrail.org/get-on-the-trail/audio-tours. For more information, visit the website at baytrail.org or contact Laura Thompson, Project Manager, San Francisco Bay Trail, laurat@abag.ca.gov, (415) 820-7935.

About the San Francisco Bay Trail
The San Francisco Bay Trail is a planned 500-mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay running through all nine Bay Area counties, 47 cities, and across seven toll bridges. Currently, over 350 miles of trail are open to the public.



Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2017
CASA brings together 46 leaders from across the Bay Area to build an actionable political consensus around increasing housing production at all levels of affordability, preserving existing affordable housing, and protecting vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.

CASA is a year-long, multi-sector, blue-ribbon initiative that brings together diverse interests to identify game-changing solutions to the region's chronic housing affordability challenges. CASA includes 46 leaders from across the Bay Area who will be working to build an actionable political consensus around (1) increasing housing production at all levels of affordability, (2) preserving existing affordable housing, and (3) protecting vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.

CASA was convened by MTC and will include a Steering Committee and Technical Committee. Members of the Steering Committee include elected officials from around the region and representatives from organizations related to affordable housing development, business, environmental protection, equity advocacy, and labor. The Technical Committee is comprised of stakeholders representing small and large jurisdictions, housing and equity advocates, labor, businesses, affordable- and market-rate housing developers, financing institutions, public transit agencies, regional planning, lawyers, and homeownership interests. Additional information is available at http://mtc.ca.gov/our-work/plans-projects/casa-committee-house-bay-area.

Over the next 16 months &mdash through stakeholder engagement, interviews, and policy and research &mdash CASA will develop a comprehensive Regional Housing Implementation Plan for the nine Bay Area counties. The plan is expected to include innovative financing strategies, state and local legislation, and recommendations to address the current regulatory environment, with a final report slated for release in October 2018.

CASA brings together 46 leaders from every conceivable sector across the Bay Area to build an actionable political consensus around increasing housing production at all levels of affordability, preserving existing affordable housing, and protecting vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.

Putting their combined influence behind the unprecedented effort are the mayors of the region's three anchor cities — Ed Lee of San Francisco, Sam Liccardo of San Jose and Libby Schaaf of San Jose — all of whom have signed on for the CASA Steering Committee. Liccardo and Schaaf both serve as MTC commissioners, while Lee appoints a representative to sit on the Commission. Additional members of CASA's Steering Committee include MTC Chair Jake Mackenzie, who serves as the mayor for the city of Rohnert Park; Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) President and MTC Commissioner Julie Pierce, who serves as councilmember for the city of Clayton; MTC Commissioner Dave Cortese, who serves as president of the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors; and ABAG Executive Board Member Julie Combs, who serves as council member for the city of Santa Rosa.

Overall, the CASA Steering and Technical Committees comprise leaders from the region's private, philanthropic, governmental and nonprofit sectors, including social equity and environmental advocates, the business and technology communities, labor groups, market rate and affordable housing developers, and representatives from across the region.

CASA will be co-chaired by Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, whose community foundation gives millions of dollars a year to improve life in the Bay Area; Leslye Corsiglia, executive director of SV@Home, the voice of affordable housing in Silicon Valley; and Michael Covarrubias, chairman and CEO of TMG Partners, a developer focused on urban infill projects in the Bay Area. Key advisors to CASA include Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors as well as the University of California, Berkeley. The effort will also be supported by staff at MTC/ABAG, who will be serving as CASA's hosts and conveners. For a full list of committee members, advisors and staff, please see the membership roster at http://mtc.ca.gov/sites/default/files/CASA%20Membership%20Roster%2007122017.pdf

Background

CASA was convened by MTC following the release of the draft Plan Bay Area 2040 (http://www.planbayarea.org/), the region's long-range transportation and land use plan, which projects the region will see 2.4 million more people, 820,000 new households and 1.3 million new jobs by the year 2040. The plan makes aggressive assumptions about policy interventions and strategies to help accommodate this growth, but falls short on a number of key performance measures including affordable housing, access to jobs, displacement risk, and housing and transportation affordability.

It was the stark challenge of looking at this performance data and understanding the risks posed to the region's low- and moderate-income households, transportation network, economy and environment, that drove the push for game-changing housing solutions.

Posted Monday, July 10, 2017

Plan Bay Area Open Houses for the Plan Bay Area 2040 and EIR


ABAG and MTC will be conducting two public meetings to consider certification of the Final EIR and adoption of the proposed Plan. All interested agencies, organizations, and individuals are welcome to participate in these public meetings for the Final EIR. Oral comments will be accepted during these meetings.

July 14, 2017
Joint MTC Planning Committee with the ABAG Administrative Committee (9:30 a.m.) at the Bay Area Metro Center - Board Room, First Floor, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. At this meeting, the decision-makers will make a recommendation to the MTC Commission/ABAG Executive Board regarding certification of the Final EIR and adoption of the proposed Plan.

July 26, 2017
MTC Commission/ABAG Executive Board (7:00 p.m.) at the Bay Area Metro Center - Board Room, First Floor, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. At this meeting, a final action will be taken regarding certification of the Final EIR and adoption of the proposed Plan.

The Final EIR includes the Draft EIR, a copy of each comment on the Draft EIR received by MTC/ABAG during the public comment period, responses to comments on environmental issues raised in those comments, and corrections and clarifications to the Draft EIR.
The Final EIR is now available for public review online at the web link listed below or a free electronic copy may be obtained by contacting MTC at the contact information provided below.
http://2040.planbayarea.org/reports
MTC Public Information
375 Beale Street, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA, 94105
415.778.6757 office / 415.536.9800 fax
eircomments@mtc.ca.gov
The document will also be available for public review in at least one library in each of the nine member counties. A list of library locations is available at the website listed below:
http://www.planbayarea.org/2040-plan/access-plan
The proposed Plan is a regional strategy for accommodating household and employment growth projected to occur in the Bay Area region through 2040, and a transportation strategy for the region based on expected revenues. The primary objective of the proposed Plan is to achieve mandated reductions of greenhouse (GHG) emissions and to provide adequate housing for the projected 2040 regional population level pursuant to The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (Senate Bill (SB) 375, Statutes of 2008). The proposed Plan sets forth a transportation and land use blueprint for how the Bay Area can address transportation mobility and accessibility needs, regional housing responsibilities, economic conditions and forecasts, environmental concerns, and GHG emissions reduction requirements through the year 2040.

Posted Thursday, July 6, 2017

Staff Consolidation Occurred July 1, 2017


After more than two years of work and deliberations, ABAG staff was consolidated with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on July 1, 2017. The Approved ABAG 2017-18 Budget and Work Program lays out the work that will be performed by the consolidated staff. The Budget and Work Program is available at http://www.abag.ca.gov/abag/overview/workplan/.

"During this time of transition with staff consolidation, our responsibility is to assure that ABAG continues to provide services that support the Bay Area's local governments, now and in the future," stated Julie Pierce, ABAG President and City of Clayton Councilmember.

To meet this goal, ABAG outreach activities such as the ABAG website, the monthly e-newsletter, and meetings will continue. If you need to reach staff, phone numbers and emails will remain the same for some time. The staff directory (http://abag.ca.gov/overview/people_alpha.html) will also be updated to reflect any changes.

Posted Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Coalition of Governments, Led by ABAG, Wins US EPA Brownfields Grant


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Association of Bay Area Governments will receive a $600,000 grant to support brownfields assessments in the cities of Richmond and El Cerrito, and in North Richmond in Contra Costa County. ABAG sought the EPA grant to support revitalization in communities in the East Bay Corridors Initiative that are reinvesting to improve health and access to opportunities in identified areas near transit. EPA funding will directly support the goals of the East Bay Corridors Initiative by focusing on a network of transit corridors, greenways, and adjacent industrial areas identified as Priority Development Areas - transit-rich places planned for mixed-income housing, commercial development, and local services. The EPA grant will fund environmental site assessments to confirm or remove suspicion of contamination on land with the potential for new housing and job-creating businesses. The long-term goal is to help local governments redevelop vacant and unused properties and to revitalize communities and local economies. EPA grant-funded assessments are expected to begin mid-2017.

This is the second brownfields grant awarded to ABAG to support the East Bay Corridors Initiative. The first grant was awarded in 2016 for sites in Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, and Alameda County.

In 2015, jurisdictions between Rodeo in the north and Fremont in the south created the East Bay Corridors Initiative. The Initiative is a collaborative platform to address shared challenges and opportunities that cross jurisdictional boundaries. These range from housing affordability to access to opportunities, improved public spaces, and resilience in the face of natural disasters. The Initiative is also a forum for prioritizing common needs and pursuing much-needed funding.

For more information, contact Mark Shorett at marks@abag.ca.gov.

Posted Monday, May 22, 2017

New Bay Trail On Tour


The launch of Bay Trail on Tour is an invitation to download and enjoy five or more free smart phone audio tours while walking segments of the Bay Trail. The Bay Trail on Tour melds together three aspects of what makes the Bay Area unique: innovative technology, awe-inspiring bay views, and an active lifestyle. Walk the Bay Trail and listen to five of the twelve smart phone audio tours narrated by Bay Area TV personality Doug McConnell before Labor Day 2017 and win a prize! The first 100 people to listen to five tours will win a limited-edition Bay Trail on Tour t-shirt. Visit http://baytrail.org/get-on-the-trail/audio-tours/ to get more information.

Posted Monday, May 8, 2017

Good News on Expanding Financing Options for In-Law Units


In response to the passage of land use: zoning legislation (SB 1069 Wieckowski) on accessory dwelling units (ADU) or in-law units, the California Housing Finance Agency recently announced that it has revised its guidelines so first-time homebuyers may apply rental income from an ADU toward loan qualification. The passage of this landmark legislation will make ADUs easier and less expensive for homeowners to build. The move will help more low and middle income families qualify for their first home and codify the role that ADUs can play in addressing the state's massive housing shortage.

For more information on ADUs go to abag.ca.gov/planning/housing/toolkit/accessory_dwelling_units.html.

Posted Monday, April 3, 2017

Plan Bay Area Open Houses for the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040


The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) recently released the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040. Open houses are scheduled in each of the nine Bay Area counties for comment on the draft Plan Bay Area 2040. Residents are encouraged to attend a workshop where they can view displays, ask questions and offer comments on these documents. The full list of open houses and public hearings is available below and at www.planbayarea.org.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 6:30 p.m.
Alameda County Open House
Fremont City Hall - City Council Chambers
3300 Capitol Avenue, Fremont

Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 6:30 p.m.
San Mateo County Open House
Sequoia High School - Multi-Purpose Room
1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 6:30 p.m.
Contra Costa County Open House
Embassy Suites - Contra Costa Ballroom
1345 Treat Blvd., Walnut Creek

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 9:40 a.m.
Public Hearing at Joint MTC Planning with the ABAG Administrative Committee
Bay Area Metro Center - Board Room

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 6 p.m.
Napa County Open House
Elks Lodge
2840 Soscol Avenue, Napa

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 6 p.m.
Solano County Open House
Solano County Events Center
601 Texas Street, Fairfield

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 6:00 p.m.
Public Hearing in San Jose
Martin Luther King Library
150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 6:30 p.m.
San Francisco Open House
Bay Area Metro Center - Yerba Buena, First Floor

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 6:00 p.m.
Public Hearing in Vallejo
Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
734 Marin Street, Vallejo

Saturday, May 20, 2017
Marin County Public Workshop/Open House
Mill Valley Community Center - 8:30 a.m. - Open House, 9 a.m. -Presentation
180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 6 p.m.
Sonoma County Open House
Finley Community Center
2060 W. College Avenue, Santa Rosa

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 6:30p.m.
Santa Clara County Open House
Marriott Hotel - San Jose Ballroom IV-VI
301 South Market Street, San Jose

The draft Plan Bay Area 2040 is an updated long-range Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. This document discusses how the Bay Area will grow over the next two decades and identifies transportation and land-use strategies to enable a more sustainable, equitable and economically vibrant future.

The effort grew out of the California Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (California Senate Bill 375, Steinberg), which requires each of the state's 18 metropolitan areas - including the Bay Area - to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. Plan Bay Area 2040 is a limited and focused update of the region's previous integrated transportation and land use plan, Plan Bay Area, adopted in 2013. View the draft Plan Bay Area 2040 at 2040.planbayarea.org/.

For more information visit the website.

Posted Friday, March 31, 2017

Soft Story Retrofit Model Ordinance Now Available


ABAG, in partnership with David Bonowitz, SE, has created the Resilience Policy Guidance Document: Soft Story Model Ordinance and Handbook to help jurisdictions develop local soft story retrofit programs.

The ordinance stemmed from ABAG's 2016 Resilience Policy Guidance Document: Soft Story Retrofit Program Development report. Throughout 2016, ABAG and David worked with cities in the East Bay Corridors Initiative to identify policy priorities, culminating in a day-long workshop in October. The result was a responsive, adaptable model ordinance that incorporates local and statewide best practices for soft story retrofit policy. The ordinance provides guidance and language for cities to adapt the policy to meet local needs. If your city has been considering developing a soft story retrofit policy, you may wish to utilize our model ordinance to help you develop a localized policy quicker and with less effort. For more information on the soft story retrofit effort at ABAG, contact danab@abag.ca.gov, 415-820-7945.

Posted Monday, February 6, 2017

Submit your comments to help Shape the Future of ABAG
What does the Bay Area need from its Council of Governments?


Cities, towns, and counties are asked to help Shape the Future of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Complete the following survey. If you have already submitted a survey, there is now an opportunity to submit additional comments.

ABAG Special General Assembly

During ABAG's Special General Assembly on January 30th, more than 120 local government representatives engaged in a dynamic dialogue on the future role of the Council of Governments and local coordination to address regional challenges, from resilience to housing and land use. Keynote speaker Delaine Eastin, Former California State Superintendent of Public Education, kicked off the General Assembly highlighting the history and significance of regional governance. Attendees provided feedback to define the needs of their Bay Area cities, towns, and counties.

If you attended the General Assembly and would like to evaluate this forum, click here.

There were four breakout sessions at the Special General Assembly where attendees discussed the future of ABAG in depth. Slides that summarize the comments from the breakout sessions can be viewed here.

Click the links below to view materials from the Special General Assembly

Building Regional Collaboration -- Panel Presentations

Understanding the Consolidation -- Presented by Brad Paul, ABAG Acting Executive Director

ABAG - MTC Staff Consolidation Overview Memo

General Assembly Survey

Click here for pre-General Assembly survey results.

Click here to participate in the survey.

The next Spring General Assembly and Business Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Posted Monday, February 6, 2017

Apply now for NOAA's Coastal Resilience Grants


Cities, towns, and counties are invited to apply for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Resilience Grants to fund climate resilience projects in their jurisdictions. Funded projects should advance healthy and sustainable coastal ecosystems through habitat restoration and support approaches to build resilience of coastal regions, communities, and the economy by developing plans and implementing actions to mitigate the negative impacts of extreme weather and climate-related hazards. Grants will fund projects that build resilience, including activities that protect life and property, safeguard people and infrastructure, strengthen the economy, or conserve and restore coastal and marine resources.
Applications are due by March 15, 2017.

For more information about the program, visit
https://www.coast.noaa.gov/resilience-grant/.

Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Special General Assembly
Shaping the Future of ABAG
What does the Bay Area Need from its Council of Governments?


More than 120 attendees from local governments throughout the region attended the ABAG Special General Assembly on January 30, 2017. Participants engaged in a dynamic dialogue on the future role of the Council of Governments and local coordination to address regional challenges. Local government representatives provided feedback to help define the needs of their Bay Area Towns, Cities, and Counties.

View Conference Presentations

Building Regional Collaboration -- Panel Presentations

Understanding the Consolidation -- Presented by Brad Paul, ABAG Acting Executive Director

General Assembly Survey

Pre-General Assembly Survey Results

Participate in the Survey

Background

ABAG - MTC Staff Consolidation Overview Memo

Speaker Bios

Meeting Agenda

Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Option 7 Implementation Action Plan - MTC Due Diligence Reports


At the October 28th joint meeting of the ABAG Administrative Committee and the MTC Planning Committee, Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM) and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (Orrick) presented reports on financial and legal due diligence, respectively, in connection with the Option 7 Implementation Action Plan (Attachment A). The following memorandum http://abag.ca.gov/abag/events/agendas/e111716a-Item%2015B,%20MTC%20Due%20Diligence.pdf provides a summary of the salient points in each report and a brief discussion of our approach to address the issues raised.

The Implementation Action Plan 7 can be viewed at http://abag.ca.gov/abag/events/agendas/e111716a-Item%2015B,%20MTC%20Due%20Diligence.pdf.

Posted Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Update Letter



November 7, 2016

To: Mayors, City Council Members, Supervisors, and City Managers and County Administrators
From: Dave Cortese, MTC Chair and Julie Pierce, ABAG President
Re: Update on Plan Bay Area 2040 and ABAG/MTC Staff Consolidation

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) are working together more closely than ever to chart a path toward a more sustainable future. And more than ever, we need the partnership of the region's 101 cities and nine counties to make our emerging vision a reality. With that in mind, we are taking this opportunity to brief local officials on the status of the Preferred Scenario for Plan Bay Area 2040, a long-range framework to guide housing development and transportation investments across the region over the next 25 years. MTC and ABAG are moving on a schedule to adopt the Plan Bay Area Preferred Scenario this month, at a joint meeting on November 17.

But first we would like to step back and put these recent developments in context. In the late spring of 2016, three major regional agencies moved to a new regional headquarters building in the SoMa area of San Francisco: ABAG, MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission will join us in 2017. The move was triggered in no small part by state Senate Bill 375, a mandate to come together to drastically curb greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area and across the state. So important is this mandate that we worked it into our address: Our new home in the Bay Area Metro Center is located at 375 Beale Street, in San Francisco's Rincon Hill neighborhood.

By co-locating our offices and public meeting spaces, our three regional agencies have made a bold statement that we intend to work closely together to address not just climate change, and the associated threats of sea level rise, but also other pressing issues of the day, including soaring housing costs, inadequate housing production at all levels, encroachment on open space, aging transit systems, freeway congestion, and more.

And now ABAG and MTC are taking our commitment to regional collaboration to the next level by merging our two staffs. The wheels were set in motion in May of this year, when our respective governing boards both approved a staff consolidation in concept. While MTC and ABAG's planning staffs are collaborating on the development of Plan Bay Area 2040, the actual merger of our staffs is a game changer — it will further break down barriers, foster the sharing of technical knowledge, encourage innovation and better focus the resources of both agencies to address the region's greatest challenges. It is a win-win for the future of the Bay Area.

To that end, we are wasting no time in implementing this staff consolidation. A human resources consultant is on board to iron out issues relating to pay scales, job titles, benefits and the like, while a financial consultant is working to provide the analysis and alternative frameworks to ensure financial health for both agencies' finances through the staff consolidation. A legal review has also been undertaken to ensure there are no legal impediments to the planned staff consolidation.

Even as the staffs of the two partner agencies merge, their governing bodies will retain their independence and respective statutory responsibilities for the time being. ABAG will still serve as the region's Council of Governments (COG), while MTC will continue to serve as the region's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). ABAG's Executive Board and its committees will still convene their regular meetings, as will MTC's Commission and its standing committees.

Our goal is to execute a contract for services in early 2017 to be followed shortly after by the staff consolidation. The contract for services will be the document that provides for adequate staffing and support for all of ABAG's statutory duties and responsibilities as the Bay Area's Council of Governments. Under the leadership of Executive Director Steve Heminger, the combined MTC/ABAG staff will be positioned to craft a solid long-range plan in which transportation investments, housing production and regional land use policies will be synced more closely than ever before.

Released in late August as a draft, the Preferred Scenario coming before the ABAG and MTC governing bodies for action this month constitutes a key building block of Plan Bay Area 2040. This final Preferred Scenario has benefited from input from local jurisdictions via planning director workshops in all nine counties, and over 20 one-on-one meetings. Staff also coordinated with the region's congestion management agencies and transit operators regarding the strategies for investing an anticipated $310 billion in anticipated transportation revenues over the 25-year life of the plan.

Based on this input, we made a number of significant adjustments to the Preferred Scenario. You can find a synopsis of the changes in the packet for the November 4 Joint Committee meeting of MTC's Planning Committee and ABAG's Administrative Committee here. This memo also details how this Preferred Scenario performs in terms of such measures as equity, climate protection, open space preservation, middle-wage job creation, congestion reduction and housing affordability.

The MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board will consider adoption of the Preferred Scenario on Thursday, November 17, starting at 7 p.m. in our joint Board Room, at the Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco. If you can't join us, we invite you to watch the meeting in real-time or at your leisure at mtc.ca.gov/whats-happening/meetings. We also welcome your comments — just send an email to either or both of us at the addresses shown below.

Original Letter signed by

Dave Cortese, MTC Chair Julie Pierce, ABAG President
dave.cortese@bos.sccgov.org jpierce@ci.clayton.ca.us



Posted Thursday, November 3, 2016

BayREN Fall Forum on November 16th:
Zero Net Energy for Local Governments Workshop


Elected officials and staff are invited to attend the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) Forum hosted in partnership with the New Buildings Institute (NBI) on November 16, 2016, at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. The forum will feature Zero Net Energy (ZNE) design and operation strategies, effective policies and codes, as well as planning approaches and other resources to support advancement of ZNE buildings in your community.

This free six-hour workshop will support local governments working to integrate state goals to achieve zero net energy buildings (ZNE). Learn about case studies on ZNE buildings, new programs and tools to support local government ZNE policy and plan development, as well as new research and emerging trends.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Join us after for an optional tour of the West Berkeley Branch Library net positive energy building (note: if you are interested in the tour, please indicate in your registration if you will need a ride to the tour site).

Wed., 11/16 ZNE for Local Governments Workshop, BayREN Fall Forum
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. with optional networking breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. ZNE building tour

View the full agenda here .
Registration is required. Register now to attend in person (encouraged)
or join by webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com.

Location:
David Brower Center | 2150 Allston Way | Berkeley, CA 94704

Posted Thursday, November 3, 2016

San Francisco Bay Water Trail Program Opens 26 New Sites


Photo
Embarcadero, San Francisco
The San Francisco Bay Water Trail opened 26 new launching and landing sites for non-motorized boats on the Bay. The Water Trail is a regional trail linking nine counties in the Bay Area. Administered by ABAG, the Water Trail program is an ongoing effort to create a network of launch and landing sites, or "trailheads," to inspire people in human-powered boats and beachable sail craft to enjoy the historic, scenic, cultural, and environmental richness of San Francisco Bay through multiple-day and single-day trips on the Bay.

The Water Trail joins three other regional trail systems:
San Francisco Bay Trail - a 500-mile shoreline trail around San Francisco Bay

Bay Area Ridge Trail - a 550+-mile trail for hikers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians along the ridgelines overlooking San Francisco Bay

California Coastal Trail - a network of public trails along the 1200-mile California coastline

For more information, go to http://sfbaywatertrail.org/.

Posted Thursday, November 3, 2016

Upcoming Bay Area Confluence -- Register Now
A Call to Action for Regional Water Resilience


Join decision makers from cities, counties, special districts, and utilities in responding to the call to action to address the region's 21st century water infrastructure challenges on November 10, 2016 in Oakland. This event features expert keynote speakers, including David Sedlak, PhD, UC Berkeley Professor, Kare Anderson, Author, Columnist, and Consultant, and Linda Langston, National Association of Counties, Director of Strategic Relations.

View new agenda here. The event continues the work of the Association of Bay Area Governments' Regional Planning Subcommittee on Infrastructure in strengthening collaboration around critical infrastructure solutions.

This half-day conference brings together elected officials, utility managers, and interested stakeholders in three key panel discussions, with a reception to follow.

Bay Area water reliability: tackling challenges in the face of growth and changing climate. The region's population is forecasted to grow by 2.1 million people by 2040. Future growth and increasingly variable water supplies mean new strategies will be needed to maintain the high-level service Bay Area customers rely upon. Be involved in the emerging regional conversation to integrate creative approaches to future water challenges.

Water after an earthquake: what happens after two days, two weeks, two years? The region's seismic threat to utilities could leave over a million households without water in the first week, and some without water for over a month. What are your expectations and responsibilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a regional earthquake? Share in the dialogue on ways to build relationships and mechanisms for stronger communities and infrastructure following an event.

Talking amongst ourselves: forming a Regional Lifelines Council. A regional approach means collaboration among many leaders: public, private, civic, district, and community, among others. Bring your thoughts on forming a council to collaboratively advance infrastructure resilience in the Bay Area.

Reception: Connect with peers over appetizers and drinks and continue the conversation.

Register Here

The full agenda is available here. Contact Michael Germeraad (ABAG Resilience Planner) michaelg@abag.ca.gov 415.820.7945 with any questions.

Posted Thursday, November 3, 2016

Estuary Blueprint Released
32 Actions to Advance the Health of the Estuary


SF Estuary Blueprint: Partnership in ActionAfter more than two years of planning and collaboration, San Francisco Estuary Partnership announces the release of the streamlined and updated Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, the 2016 Estuary Blueprint.

The 2016 Estuary Blueprint is a forward-looking, comprehensive, collaborative vision for the San Francisco Estuary and a "next step" for many significant regional planning documents. The Estuary Blueprint goals take a systems approach to protecting habitats and living resources, building resiliency, improving water quality and quantity, and championing the Estuary.


Through these cross-cutting goals, the Estuary Blueprint addresses our most pressing estuarine health challenges, embracing and reducing hurdles to innovations in climate resilience planning, and bridging the upper and lower Estuary (the Bay and the Delta) in order to support key natural processes.

Along with the release of the Estuary Blueprint, the Estuary Partnership updated the plan website with a number of features such as a project tracking tool, implementation infographic, and success stories.

For more information, go to theSan Francisco Estuary Partnership website.

Posted Monday, October 24, 2016

The San Francisco Bay Trail Now Connects Oakland to Yerba Buena Island


For the first time in history, pedestrians and cyclists have the chance to travel across the new East Span of the Bay Bridge using the new San Francisco Bay Trail from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island. The 15 1/2 -foot wide pathway accommodates both cyclists and pedestrians. The path will be open on most weekends from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. beginning on Saturday, November 5th. The pathway will remain closed during the week to accommodate dismantling of the old bridge structure, and other closures are still possible. For the most up to date information regarding pathway closures, visit http://www.baybridgeinfo.org/search/node/bay%20trail.

Until now, the Bay Bridge Trail came to a dead end shortly after the bridge's signature tower. All but a short segment of the 4 1/2 mile-long trail opened in Fall 2013, days after the bridge's new East Span opened to vehicles.

For information about getting to the trailheads by car, public transit, or bicycle, please visit 511.org.

Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Plan Bay Area Draft Preferred Land Use Scenario



Release of the Draft Preferred Land Use Scenario in early September 2016 marks a major milestone toward the development of Plan Bay Area 2040. The Draft Preferred Scenario represents a regional pattern of household and employment growth by the year 2040, and includes a corresponding transportation investment strategy. Full details are available at http://planbayarea.org/the-plan/Draft-Preferred-Scenario.html.

Next Steps
With the release of the Draft Preferred Scenario in early September 2016, attention turns to taking public comment on this milestone leading to the Draft Plan Bay Area 2040. Public comments on the Draft Preferred Scenario should be submitted by October 14 to MTC via email at info@mtc.ca.gov, or via U.S. mail to MTC, 375 Beale Street, Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94105.

The Draft Preferred Scenario will be presented at several public meetings, including the Regional Advisory Working Group (RAWG), the MTC Planning and ABAG Administrative Committees, and the ABAG Executive Board. All input will be used to refine the preferred scenario before the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board are asked to adopt a final preferred scenario at a joint November 2016 meeting.

All of this work, in turn, will form the foundation for Plan Bay Area 2040, slated for final adoption in 2017.

The presentation and memorandums detailing the Draft Preferred Land Use Scenario, including draft numbers for housing, jobs, transportation investments, and performance targets from the Joint MTC Planning Committee/ ABAG Administrative Committee, September 9, 2016 are available via the website.

Posted Thursday, September 29, 2016

Celebrating Bay Day



Has your city, town, or county joined in to officially celebrate the San Francisco Bay with a Bay Day proclamation? As the administrator of several regional projects working to enhance San Francisco Bay, ABAG is pleased to announce that 39 cities and counties in the Bay Area have passed proclamations recognizing October 1, 2016 and the first Saturday of October in future years as "Bay Day," in recognition of this valuable resource that defines our region.


On Bay Day, dozens of cultural attractions, community organizations, small businesses, non-profits and parks all around the Bay Area will host special, Bay-themed programs so residents can explore, enjoy, and learn more about our Bay. For more information about Bay Day, visit http://abag.ca.gov/bayday/index.html or http://www.bayday.org.

Posted Monday, September 26, 2016

Letter from ABAG Executive Board to ABAG Staff



September 22, 2016

Dear ABAG Staff:

Following last week's resignation of Ezra Rapport from his position as Executive Director, the Executive Board of the Association of Bay Area Governments wishes to assure you of our strong support of the vital planning and service programs provided by all ABAG staff. We recognize that these programs have solidified ABAG's role as an essential resource to local governments and other stakeholders throughout the Bay Area. Indeed, ABAG's impact extends well beyond its regional significance. This is obviously a time of major transition for ABAG. The ABAG Executive Board understands the uncertainty inherent in this transitional period and would like to reassure staff that our support remains an element of stability during this time.

Mr. Rapport put together a strong executive management team to lead our agency. We have the utmost confidence in their ability to provide continuity and strong leadership through this transition. This evolution of leadership remains committed to the responsibility the ABAG Executive Board has, and will continue to have, in maintaining and promoting ABAG's programs, scope, staff and collaborative partnerships.

Very truly yours,

Julie Pierce, ABAG President; David Rabbitt, ABAG Vice President;
Mark Luce, ABAG Immediate Past President;
Dave Cortese, MTC Chair, ABAG Executive Board Member; ABAG Past President;
Scott Haggerty, ABAG L&GO Committee Chair, ABAG Executive Board Member, ABAG Past President

To view the signed letter, visit http://abag.ca.gov/news/2016-09-22_Brdltrtostaff.pdf

Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Plan Bay Area Draft Preferred Scenario Presented



The Plan Bay Area Draft Preferred Scenario was presented to the ABAG Regional Planning Committee and to the ABAG Executive Board last week as well as the Regional Advisory Working Group (RAWG) and the MTC Planning and ABAG Administrative Committees. Cities and counties are invited to review and comment on the Draft Preferred Scenario via email to: mlespiritu@mtc.gov and cc: kkirkey@mtc.ca.gov and miriamc@abag.ca.gov.

October 14th is the deadline for public comments via email at info@mtc.ca.gov, or via U.S. mail to MTC, 375 Beale Street, Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94105.

A special October Executive Board meeting was requested to hear more from cities and counties. This meeting has not yet been scheduled, but will be open to members of the public. Special session details will be available on the ABAG meetings and agendas page at http://abag.ca.gov/meetings/execboard.html.

All input will be used to refine the preferred scenario before the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board are asked to adopt a final preferred scenario at a joint November 2016 meeting.

More information is available at http://planbayarea.org/the-plan/Draft-Preferred-Scenario.html.

Posted Friday, September 16, 2016

Association of Bay Area Governments
Executive Director Ezra Rapport Announces Retirement



Executive Director Ezra Rapport will be retiring from the agency he has headed since 2010. Mr. Rapport will leave ABAG effective September 30, 2016.

In his role as Executive Director, Mr. Rapport was responsible for many accomplishments at the agency, including developing a solid regional planning framework for the Bay Area's future growth in housing, jobs, and population. Mr. Rapport oversaw enterprise units working on energy efficiency, clean water supply, disaster resilience, risk management, local finance, trail management, open space, economic development, climate adaptation, infrastructure expansion, and many other important subjects.

ABAG President and City of Clayton Councilmember Julie Pierce thanked Mr. Rapport for his service, stating, "Ezra has been a visionary and passionate leader for ABAG. Ezra has advanced collaboration among the Bay Area's counties, cities and towns and regional stakeholders. He has been instrumental in guiding our ABAG Council of Governments through the adoption of the first Plan Bay Area, adopted in 2013, as we plan for future generations in the Bay Area. We wish Ezra and his family all the best in his retirement."

Following September 30th, Brad Paul, ABAG Deputy Executive Director will be assuming management responsibilities for the foreseeable future.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2016

ABAG Chief Economist Conducts Research on Napa Businesses Impacted by Earthquake


Napa earthquake business survivors have been asked to help the nation become more disaster resilient by completing a survey on the economic impact of the magnitude 6.0 South Napa Earthquake of August 2014. In partnership with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), the Association of Bay Area Governments' (ABAG) Chief Economist, Cynthia Kroll and researchers from four other organizations are developing this Napa pilot survey to serve as a model for gauging business conditions after a natural disaster.

"For the Napa experience, the pilot survey gives us illustrations of how the quake affected businesses and what contributed to business resilience. In the longer term, we hope to determine how to best gather information on the impacts of a natural disaster on local businesses. This type of research provides information for businesses and public agencies on how to prepare and what's needed to help a business recover," Kroll said.

Results will be shared with government decision makers, business groups, emergency managers and planners, researchers, risk mitigation experts, and interested members of the general public. The survey is conducted by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) in collaboration with local economic development and business organizations as part of EERI's Resilience Observatory Project and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. EERI has extended the survey for 4 more weeks. Napa businesses can still respond to the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/napa-case-study.

The goal is to gather enough survey results bymid-October to inform the development of a survey instrument that can track effects of a major event from the initial incident through recovery.

Efforts like the Napa Pilot Survey are in keeping with the missions of ABAG's Research Program, which provides data and analysis on demographic and economic trends in the region, and the ABAG Resilience Program, which supports recovery and mitigation research, planning and action for a resilient Bay Area and assists Bay Area local governments and residents in planning for earthquakes, the effects of climate change, and other hazards.

More information on the survey and the EERI Resilience Observatory Project is available here.

For more information, visit the ABAG Resilience program website at http://resilience.abag.ca.gov/about/.

Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Regional Planning Committee's New Subcommittees
Tackle Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Housing


The ABAG Regional Planning Committee (RPC) has formed three subcommittees to examine issues of importance to the region: Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Housing.

Infrastructure
The Infrastructure Subcommittee met in July to discuss related water and resilience activities. A meeting on Wednesday, September 14th, 9:30 - 11:30 will continue the July meeting's discussion on local and regional collaboration between water districts, cities and counties. In addition, presentations on potential water system disruptions following a scenario earthquake, impressions from the September 8th Yellow Command Exercise and discussion on how a Subcommittee for a Lifelines Council can foster useful coordination will be on the September 14th meeting agenda. For more information, contact Michael Germeraad, michaelg@abag.ca.gov.

Economic Development
The Economic Development Committee has been combined with additional subregional representatives to form an Economic Development Strategy Committee for developing a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Report (CEDS). The CEDS is a necessary part of the Regional effort to create an Economic Development District for the San Francisco Bay Area. The Strategy Committee broadly represents the main economic interests of the region including business organizations, workforce interests, educational institutions, and equity representatives. The September 13th meeting from 1 - 2:30 pm will include a review of strategies to support a more resilient, prosperous and equitable economy. For more information, contact Johnny Jaramillo, johnnyj@abag.ca.gov.

Housing
Housing Subcommittee met briefly in May and identified preliminary objectives as providing guidance to staff and recommendations to RPC on housing issues in following areas: housing as expressed in Plan Bay Area, the concept and potential implementation of a Regional Housing Trust fund, and exploring the Safe, Smart Integrated Housing Retrofit program (SSIHR) for the Bay Area. The September 14th meeting from 3:00 - 5:00 will review current housing tasks, recent housing data, and discussion of priorities for 2016-2017. For more information, contact Gillian Adams at gilliana@abag.ca.gov.

With these three subcommittees, the RPC can focus on these important topics. Agendas and minutes for meetings will be posted at http://abag.ca.gov/meetings/.

Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Has your city, town, or county joined in to officially celebrate the San Francisco Bay with a Bay Day proclamation?



As the administrator of several regional projects working to enhance San Francisco Bay, ABAG is requesting that all cities and counties in the Bay Area pass proclamations recognizing October 1, 2016 and the first Saturday of October in future years as "Bay Day," in recognition of this valuable resource that defines our region.

On Bay Day, dozens of cultural attractions, community organizations, small businesses, non-profits and parks all around the Bay Area will host special, Bay-themed programs so residents can explore, enjoy, and learn more about our Bay. For more information about Bay Day, and to get the draft resolution, visit http://abag.ca.gov/bayday/index.html.

Posted Monday, August 29, 2016

Building Healthy Neighborhoods with Trees
Forum on Wednesday, September 21, 2016
at Oakland Museum of California


Elected Officials, City Managers, Planning and Public Works Directors are invited to spend a day learning about how urban forestry can help grow healthy communities in the East Bay with experts from regional planning, public health and urban tree canopy analysis. Be inspired by the many benefits trees provide and find out how to develop, implement and fund an urban forestry plan.

Our keynote speaker, Nathanael Johnson, author of Unseen City takes us on a journey that is part nature lesson and part love letter to the world's urban jungles. With the right perspective, a walk to the bus stop can be every bit as entrancing as a walk through a national park.

To register for this forum hosted in cooperation with the Association of Bay Area Governments' PLAN Corporation, California Urban Forests Council, and the Bay Area Urban Forest Ecosystem Council, click here.The forum is free to ABAG PLAN Members.

To find out if you are an ABAG PLAN Member, check here. For more information call, (415) 820-7992.

AICP & CEU Credit Available.

Posted Monday, August 15, 2016

Plan Bay Area 2040 Regional Conversation on Housing and Transportation - What We Heard



During May and June, more than 1,100 members of the public attended open houses or took an online quiz to learn about and comment on an update to the region's long-range transportation and
housing roadmap known as Plan Bay Area 2040.

Bay Area residents who attended these open houses had the opportunity to view displays and offer comments on long-term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light duty trucks, house the region's projected population, improve public health, maintain the region's transportation infrastructure, and preserve open space,among others. Open house participants posted comments on display boards, took the online survey and filled out comment sheets to elaborate on their positions.

Overall comment themes
Housing: * Strong support for more housing of all types, especially for low and middle-income residents * Major concern with lack of affordable housing and displacement of long-time residents, particularly in disadvantaged communities * Suggestions for easing displacement included stronger policies for rent control, protection against evictions, inclusionary zoning and
living wages * A number of participants called for conditioning state or regional funding to ensure cities are approving sufficient low-income housing and adopting strong anti-displacement policies * Many called for more streamlined approval processes for new housing * There was support for more robust transit-oriented development and more vibrant, walkable downtowns in cities of all sizes.

Transportation: * Widespread support for public transit service - going more places at increased frequencies * Strong support for increased rail - most notably BART, as well as Caltrain and commuter rail, and enhanced bus service, including bus-rapid-transit * Support for electric vehicle charging stations * Some expressed concern about transit crowding, called for a second Transbay Tube * Major concern about freeway and traffic congestion: many seek relief from long commutes * Strong support for more robust bicycle and pedestrian facilities to lay the groundwork for a more carless future (though a small number strongly oppose investments in bicycles).

For the fulll report and to see more information, go to

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